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January 21, 2012

I’ve been following Gina Carano’s career for a while. I am a huge mixed martial arts (MMA) fan and Carano was the face of women’s MMA. However, her face met “Cyborg steroid” Santos.

Luckily, Steven Soderbergh saw one of her fights and decided to write a movie around her. This isn’t the first time he has developed a film around a strong female personality. He directed the critically successful The Girlfriend Experience starring Sasha Grey.

Soderbergh intelligently keeps the emoting to a minimum and focuses on the hard-hitting fight scenes. With Carano’s ability there is no need for quick cuts and wild punches. Each fight is a chess match of violence that can be told by long static shots.

Haywire is a slick violent film that may turn off people with its depiction of a woman getting the snot beat out of her. Carano gives as good as she gets but you’ve never seen a woman get coffee thrown in her eyes then her face smooshed on a table.

The plot is secondary to showcasing Carano’s skills. I just watched the film and I’m not totally sure what happened. Something about money, double crosses and Antonio Banderas in a suave beard. The most important thing is that Carano is believable as the betrayed security contractor who beats up Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum and Ewan McGregor. By staying true to traditional fighting and the laws of gravity the fights are brutal beauties.

The scenes are believable because of Carano’s fighting history and ability to choreograph her own stunts. it is nice to watch a movie where people don’t get hit in the face 70 times (no bruises) or block crow bar shots with their forearms (no breaks).

I never once questioned Carano’s victories. She is a force of nature that would put Angelina Jolie and Zoe Saldana in a single headlock. I’m not sold on her acting but I do think she will be a solid action star. Hopefully, this film will launch Carano’s career and spark some interest in MMA.

Quick fact: The had to digitally lower Carano’s voice in postproduction.

Additionally, If you haven’t watched the amazing MMA film Warrior yet check it out now.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. johnleavengood permalink
    January 21, 2012 9:44 am

    Until I saw this preview, I really never thought of a figure four leg lock as something that could be sexy. Thank you Gina Carano…and Mark, for a solid review that manages to get me yet more stoked about catching this movie starring Scott Adkins female counterpart!


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